Because Documents of Learning are totally effective after said project.
A goal that guided my project was to convey the struggles and misogyny Clara suffered, while she continued to search for her creative freedom and her musical voice. I was also guided by a quote that Clara had written in her diary, which greatly impacted my view on her.
“I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose — there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?”
I wish that I had elaborated on this more, and compared the struggles that Clara faced back then to some modern oppression today. I was drawn to her because she faced just as many problems as her male counterparts, and had to deal with the blatant sexism of the 19th-20th century.
I wanted to convey her resilience, her genius, her talent, her passion… but above all, I set out to prove that talent can creep out of the darkest holes and the most unsuspecting places.
As a petrified public speaker, this was one of the most difficult parts of the project. I mean, one of my IEP goals is to improve confidence/clarity/general public speaking, so I thought to myself, “If you can get through the speech alive, I guarantee that the rest of Eminent will seem easy” (how wrong I was), with thoughts of the worst case scenarios running through my mind: falling on stage, losing my place in the speech, freezing up– all that fun stuff. Luckily, my speech, although not without its mistakes, went better than I thought. Practice makes okay.
A few things I need to work on include voice projection, and length. I’ve consistently managed to exceed speech lengths every single year, and I thought, “7 minutes should be plenty of time to go over what I need to say!” According to my trusty pal Kaleigh, I just exceeded that. I mean, seriously, if I don’t share my thoughts in class (ever), how do I make a 7+ minute speech? Another mystery of life that remains to be solved. I also need to work on character. My character was supposed to come across as psychotic, and was supposed to die at the end, but I wasn’t confident enough to convey that.
Here is my speech, sans the last minute notes I scribbled right before the performance.
My learning centre… Well, let’s just say it was subpar to some of the other’s I saw, and I’m being completely honest here. I got so absorbed with perfecting, writing, and re-writing my speech and my committee work that I underestimated how much time and care I would need for my learning centre. Goal for next year’s NotN: Start working on learning centre BEFORE speeches are over. I also spent WAYYY too much time on my tiny piano and finding quotes which I thought were interesting and said a lot about Clara’s life, but because of the way I presented it, no one read it.
For my learning centre, I tried to semi-recreate Clara’s composition space, using staff paper, Katrina’s pencil, an old metronome, and a picture of Clara in her prime. A sign I hung on “her” chair read “Kein Larm”, German for “No Noise”. Upon reading that her husband claimed that her piano-playing was distracting to his composition, I read more and found that the only time she had to practice was one or two (if she was lucky) hours at the end of the day to play her pieces while her husband was out getting drinks.
I also conducted a survey with everyone who stopped by my learning centre, gathering information from the general public (see next post for details).
Also, huge congratulations to Brian for getting the pizza orders under control.